Gallery: Cow Tummies May Hold Key to Unlocking Biofuels


One of the major obstacles of biofuel production today is that the actual process of turning a plant into a usable energy source is time consuming and costly. Well, scientists at the US Department of Agriculture think they have a key that would unlock the door to a future of quick and easy production of fuels from plants and it comes from within a cow stomach — but don’t worry, no cows are harmed in the process! They’ve studied the enzymes in cows’ rumens (the first compartments of their stomachs) and have discovered a substance that is unusually good at breaking down the complex walls of plants. Makes sense right? If cows eat loads of fiber all day long, they must have a special secret to digesting it so why not use nature’s answer instead of looking for our own?

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1 Comment

  1. efried September 27, 2010 at 2:39 am

    The biofuel issue is largely linked to the belief in the climate warming and the need for renewable supply, but there is a large set of potential policies to choose from. having an background in biofuels please give us your assessment of the measures, their scope and sequence etc. in this small survey.

    many thanks in advance for your time

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